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Cinescape: Fall TV Preview: The X-Files

Fall TV Preview: The X-Files

[typed by Megan]

High Concept: FBI agents searching for intelligent life in the universe also find conspiracies, monsters and big ratings.

Major Players: Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish.

Why Should You Watch: With Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Anderson) finally consummating their relationship (with a kiss) at the end of last season, the originator of the “X-Files” will be suspiciously absent, leaving Scully to contend with her new baby (and its secrets) all by herself. How producers handle Mulder’s absence will be an amazing sleight of hand trick, but seeing if new partners Doggett and Reyes click will be what most X-Fans will be watching.

Reasons To Be Concerned: It’s season nine – and no Mulder. The show’s mythology was tired in season five and there are very few adversaries left from the monster gene pool to exploit. Doggett revitalized the show last season while we waited for Mulder to return, but will Gish do the same?

Buzz-O-Meter: 5 (out of 10)

It was sealed with a kiss and now he’s gone…again. At the end of The X-Files’ eighth season, Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) and Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson) admitted to each other the “truth” that was out there all along – their love for each other. And with that, X-fans finally got what they wanted – confirmation that indeed Mulder and Scully did have something going on.

If the series ended on that note, it would have been a fitting conclusion to one of the TV’s most challenging and interesting genre television shows. Yet, FOX wanted another season. They got their wish, but not without a price – sans Duchovny. Now, the show is going to have to find a suitable way of resolving that kiss without making Mulder’s absence seem like he’s a deadbeat sperm-donating dad.

“I care how they resolve Mulder kissing and running [away],” Duchovny admitted to Cinescape, while promoting his summer feature Evolution.

Of course, the writing staff is well aware of this dilemma, but executive producer John Shiban feels they’ve come up with an adequate solution.

“I think we all share David’s feeling about the character,” says Shiban. “We have come up with a way for Mulder to still be at the heart of the show and be absent. If he does the movies, it works. If he comes back for a cameo, it works, though right now the latter is not going to happen, but you never know. We came up with a beautiful way that fits with the mythology that has already been established to still have Mulder be in Scully’s heart, be the father of her child and not be present. He will still be the center of The X-Files.”

Whereas last year, the subtext of the show focused on “the search for Mulder,” this year the major subplot will be “what’s up with Scully’s baby,” explains Shiban.

“We intend to use Scully in ever episode in some very interesting ways,” says Shiban. “She has been left with a big question: ‘What is with my baby? Why did the aliens want it and then let it go?’ Her relationship with Mulder is still central to the show – if not there in person, he’ll be there in spirit. Still, this new world for Scully – motherhood – is very important.”

The season ender also paired up Agent Doggett (Robert Patrick) with recurring character Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) the new “head” of the X-Files. Predictably, Gish joins this season as a full-fledged cast member.

“Agent Reyes is very important next year, and so is Agent Doggett,” says Shiban. “We will get into Doggett’s past with his son and what happened with that.”

Making an appearance in a key arc next season will be Xena star Lucy Lawless, whose character has yet to be revealed, and Shiban says you should never count out the Cigarette Smoking Man for making an appearance despite being dead.

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